Bared... The curse of being a 'public property'

Tagbilaran, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 03:01:49

Flash Report: Carmen Councilor Ramonito "Monching" Torrefranca was elected Philippine Councilors League (PCL) president in Bohol last August 13 while Catigbian Councilor Ariel Niceforo Lungay was also elected executive vice president of the league with 298 votes besting Loay councilor Tony Supanga with 94 votes.

Voting began as 4 pm, while canvassing of votes started at 6pm.

Like the provincial elections, the convention area was filled with leaflets and sample ballots with photos of some candidates at the tables and chairs used by the participating councilors.

Board member Brigido Imboy and his wife LMP president Rosemarie Imboy were spotted inside the convention area.

PCL-Bohol winners Pres. Monching Torrefranca (4th from right),
executive vice president Ariel Lungay (3rd from right) with
NYC Commissioner Benjie Oliva (2nd from left), Manuel
Ferdinand de Erio and Leo P. Udtohan.

The other elected PCL officials are Calixto Garcia (VP internal), Nimfa Lloren (VP External), Bernard Lansang (VP 1st district), Joseph Randi Torregosa (VP 2nd district), Julita Senen Tan (VP 3rd district), Ephraim Licayan (secretary general), Renato Villaber (deputy secretary general), Ricky Masamayor (treasurer), Manuel Gara (assistant treasurer), Teodoro Ruizol (auditor), Victoriano Dellosa (assistant auditor), Cesar Cagulada (business manager), Jose Allan Tinaja (assistant business manager), Asterio Coquilla (PRO 1st district), Vicente Auza (PRO 2nd district), and Antonio Po (PRO 3rd district).

The board of directors are Felix Tan, Constancio Atuel, Jescelo Adiong, Danilo Cal, Eddie Borja, Danilo Bandala, Nicodemus Tago and Carmen Jaminal.

PCL national president Ronald Carcillar graced the affair with PCL national executive vice president Alma Moreno, Gov. Edgar Chatto and NYC Commissioner Benjie Oliva.

In an interview, Lungay stressed the importance of transparency at the PCL. "We must have high standards for financial transparency and fight to make sure the system itself is equitable and fair," he stressed.

The election was supervised by DILG-Bohol headed by Madame Rustica Mascariñas (with the help of Jeffrey Bernasor, John Mende, et al).

There was a littler shocker on the front page of newspapers weeks ago on the transparency and accountability controversies involving Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) national president Jane Censoria Cajes.

I knew that Jane is a dynamic leader who is a KC Concepcion look-alike. Both are ambassadors of goodwill.

Jane Cajes.

About the persistent rumor that she doesn't present the financial statements ...Jane has already said for the nth time (since March 2010) that the financial statements are ready for transparency.

A few days ago, the SK Pilipinas page on Facebook reported that, quote-unquote, "Lahat ng NEB nag-attend sa NEB meeting sa Zambales tinakot ni Pres. Jane! Nag-Martial Law siya para matakot ang NEB officials. Anong nangyari??? Sino sino na pinaratangan niya!!! Ask your NEB friends!!!!" It's the same website that reported the reports that Jane promised she would present during the SK National Congress held last July in Panglao, all of which have not happened.

Where could she have gone wrong?

First, let me remind Jane and her staff that she is a public official and not an artista.

Second, there is a curse of being public. Because of the nature of one's job, one can lose his/her right to invoke the right to privacy especially if one is in public service where a public servant derives his/her power from public trust. What he/she presents to his/her public is open to scrutiny and therefore, judgment by the people he/she serves.

We all know that public office is a public trust. It is always a great privilege to hold an office, more so a public office and to render service honestly and fairly without fear or favor. The greater or higher is the office, the greater is the responsibility.

Jane doesn't deserve all the controversies at her age…if she is properly guided.

And the sad part of the story: some people surrounding Jane are "accusing" Manuel Ferdinand de Erio (of Sunday Post) and yours truly as part of the "black propaganda." We are "accuse" as members of the SK Pilipinas and Tingog Bohol (who reveals shocking information at SK Pilipinas) of which we don't have any idea.

And how can we fight back when the "rumors" are spread like fire in town? Do they forget how we "risk" our lives defending her and SK? Do we need to remind her and the people of our contributions shaping and protecting her political career? I am a super-volunteer (the oldest) of SK since the time of her sister Frances Bobbith Cajes-Auza who served as federated president —with no salary and hidden agenda — just the passion to volunteer. And the price of being loyal is we are branded "traitors?"

My point is, it is dangerous to make conclusions, more so, judgment on people we think we know. It's even a bigger crime to judge someone we don't know. Or simply said, it's not right to judge others whimsically. There's a big difference between an assessment that something might have happened and a finding of guilt. This is jargon that simply says they know a lot — but not all. It becomes even dangerous when knowledge is culled from impressions.

The root of all the circus and chaos happening at SK is the financial statements. Show it. Period.

And yes, I do regret that I read SK Pilipinas on Facebook. I do regret I discovered many things. But what I regret more is there are SKs who are telling me about the whole thing. I wish they hadn't told me, that way I'd still be blissfully unaware of that part of Jane I don't know still. That way, I'd still admire and respect her.

Or is it a crime that De Ers' and my consciences are well-developed? Author Spencer Johnson said, "Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people."

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Leo P. Udtohan